Marillion Weekend Convention 2011 in Montreal

Well what can one say.  For about $150, you got 3 full 2 to 3 hour sets of Marillion music.  This has been the 4th time my wife and I have attended these conventions, (the first 2 in europe) and everyone has been a great experiance.  For me the thing that makes it is the song selection.  Previous convention highlights have included Fugazi, Splintering Heart, Hotel Hobbies, This Town/100 Nights, Out of this World, Lavender/Heart of Lothian, This Strange Engine, Invisible Man and Ocean Cloud.  For those of you that attended this years convention, you'll agree that many of the songs  played, have been previously played before.  A a result, the 2009 Convention still ranks highest in my opinion.  This is not to say that I didn't enjoy myself, quite the opposite.  The band played extremely well and tight and vocalist H was on fire right from the start.


The first night consisted of the Holidays In Eden album played in it's entirety.  They followed that up with two b-sides from that album the acoustic based A Collection and the riff rocker How Can it Hurt.  Closing the set was Beautiful.  The encore consisted of Man of a Thousand Faces, and Memory of Water (big beat version) finishing with The Invisible Man.

The second night was song titles in alphabetical order.  A few of the highlights were the opener of Asylum Satellite #1, Grendal (intro guitar teaser), Gazpacho, Jigsaw (sung by audience), No Such Thing, Pseudo Silk Kimono (1st time sung by H), Three Minute Boy, Voice from the Past, The Wound, You're Gone and Separated Out (with Zepps Black Dog as intro and Kashmir insert).

On the third night, everyone was given a glow stick.  The band gave the audience a choice of two songs to play, and the choice was made depending on amount of glow sticks waved in the air and cheer for each song.  Some winners were a little surprising such as One Fine Day winning out over Don't Hurt Yourself, others were not surprising like Between You and Me winning out over Most Toys.  Some were a difficult choice such as Out of this World vs Estonia with Estonia winning by what seemed like a narrow margin.  In a few cases the band gave into chants of "Both, both, both" and played both choices of The Great Escape vs Easter, and Ocean Cloud vs This Strange Engine.  I was lucky to see the latter as after the band played Easter, the house lights came on and I was ready to leave.  My wife however wanted to stick around for a few extra minutes which was good as the band came back out and finished with all full 20 minutes of This Strange Engine.  A great way to end the weekend.

Hopefully there'll be a 2013 Montreal Convention in which case it'll be interesting to see what album they'll choose to play on the first night.  Previously there's been, Brave, Afraid of Sunlight and Marbles, all which are considered to be Marillion's top albums.  We've also had This Strange Engine which was a strange choice, Seasons End which is a little special as it was H's first Marillion album, and as mentioned above, this years Holidays in Eden.  For me there really aren't any other H era albums that warrant being played in their entirety.  Perhaps Marillion will bite the bullet and play the Fish era Clutching at Straws.  I say bite the bullet because Marillion and H have made no secrets in the past about their lack of enthusiasm of playing some of the Fish era material.  Nonetheless, Clutching has been performed in almost it's entirety by H in the past with performances of Hotel Hobbies, Warm Wet Circles, That Time of the Night, White Russian, Incommunicado, Slainte Maith, and Sugar Mice.  Really, there's only the two songs Just for the Record and The Last Straw to add and you've got the full album.  While one can dream, we won't know until next convention.

Until next time

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